Pioneers in Machining Technology
New, real-time process monitoring and data management software, called MPmax, has been introduced by Makino for use with its machining centres. NCMT is sole UK agent for the Japanese machine tool builder.
By connecting up to 20 machines fitted with the manufacturer's Pro5 control system to a maximum of five Windows PCs over a single Ethernet local area network, the system allows manufacturers to retrieve, store and analyse high volumes of data to optimise production efficiency.
Companies have available the necessary tools to detect and react to bottlenecks on the fly. Remote monitoring capabilities allow factory managers and machine operators to keep up to date with processes, even while they are away from the shop floor.
The ability to understand better and observe more closely the performance of the machines provides considerable scope for optimising shop floor efficiency and extracting maximum output from a firm's capital investment.
MPmax offers data management capabilities for a variety of key machine performance indicators, including multiple machine status monitoring, individual machine utilisation, alarms, probe data analysis, spindle and axis movements, machine power consumption and tool management.
With MPmax, manufacturers can transfer jobs between machines, based on whether they are underused or overused, to even out the flow of work across a shop floor. The Pareto chart display of alarms provides manufacturers with an opportunity to review a full list of alarm events and adapt machine processes. Recorded electricity usage can assist manufacturers to schedule jobs for times of day when energy costs are lower, reducing overheads.
The ability of the software to collect probe data and calculate the Cpk (process capability) index lets manufacturers track accuracy performance in respect of critical features to ensure the highest levels of component quality. Spindle and axis monitoring record and display axis forces, loads and speeds. The data can be used to fine-tune processes for faster cutting speeds and greater depths of cut.
Tool data management functionality registers, manages and monitors all critical tool data for multiple machines from one location. By making appropriate adjustments, manufacturers can get the maximum performance and life from each tool.
The software provides capabilities for remote viewing, giving operators and management the ability to track and respond to process issues as they occur, without interrupting other day-to-day activities. The control of each connected machine in the factory can be viewed remotely in real time from any networked PC. Cameras mounted in the machining areas are able to monitor and capture videos of machining in progress, making it easier to solve processing errors before they become a detriment to part quality.
E-mail notification allows operators to deliver current machine status information to the service department, including alarm texts and images of the work zone. This has the potential to dramatically improve productivity and process control.